IOC Evaluation Commission Arrives In Madrid

The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) 14-member Evaluation Commission arrived in Madrid Monday to inspect the city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The commission arrived at Barajas airport at 10 a.m. local time, reports Xinhua.

The six IOC members and seven technical experts led by 400 metres runner Nawal El Moutawaken, were welcomed by Madrid’s Mayor Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon, and Mercedes Coghen, head of Madrid’s 2016 bid. The commission will be in Madrid for three days and will begin its inspection Tuesday.

They are to be received by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia and will meet with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Gallardon welcomed the commission saying that thanks to Madrid’s previous bid (for the 2012 Games), much of the work in Madrid has already been completed. He said, “we are not going to show any castles in the air, we are going to show our reality. The reality of a city that is forward, dynamic, alive and which loves sport and a city that has 77 per cent of its installations either finished or already started”.

About 10,000 police are reportedly providing security during the visit for fear of attacks by the militant Basque separatist group ETA.